The Rhode Island rockers have excelled themselves by returning to material from Vol 1 and Vol 2 album, along with covering the work of other artists including The Pogues, George Harrison and Velvet Underground. There are also five brand new tracks to dip your spoon into. As this is a companion piece to the band's previous work, there's a decidedly different feel to the punky, thrashy angst that you'd usually find throbbing from the stereo. This album often channels John McCauley's inner Cohen and Dylan in terms of tonality, but he's more glossy and melodic, making him the perfect boho superstar for Generation Y.

The stripped back arrangements of tracks like Limp Right Back and doomed From The Start give a more tender, mature slant on the band's songwriting. That said, it gets off to a deliciously heavy start with new track Spirals. For longtime fans, this is an album that will delight and confound in equal measure. But it's also a record that stands on its own merits for those who want a more rootsy listen. The music and lyrics the band have crafted easily stand up against the masters they cover on the album, and that's the most refreshing and surprising thing about this release: it allows McCauley's bittersweet lyrical interpretations to stand alone, without the added instrumentation that usually encumbers the poetry. This isn't any old compilation album; this is a Deer Tick compilation album that's positively dripping with a moreish taste. Get stuck in.

Groupie rating 4/5

#rock #punk #alt

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